Reading level: Ages 15 and up
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.The pure imagination in this book took my breath away. This is the most original story I've read in a while. The story started off a little slow, but once you get into this book, it won't let you go. While reading this book, I felt like I was being sucked into an epic fairytale world, which is what I've been longing for in a paranormal. I'm happy to say this this book completely lived up to the hype.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I absolutely adore Karou. She fits the story so well. I can't really describe how wonderfully crafted she is, along with all of the other characters. The only word I can think of to almost-adequately describe them is vivid. So vivid it seems that they're really out there, living and breathing as you read. My favorite character has to be Akiva, and for reasons other than him being gorgeous. He's haunted and supernatural but also so real. For once, an angel with flaws. To be frank, I'm pretty tired of the perfect heroes, because that is just so terrible unrealistic. I know it's fiction, but it is also a story of emotion. This book has emotion packed into every word, some of it vibrant and fast-paced, others slow and foreboding.
Truth be told, this book just felt like something whispered over campfires or found in an attic, leather bound and falling to pieces. This book brings storytelling back to life. While you can sort of see how it is going to end, through out the entire book you are entranced. Every aspect about it holds something mystical and beautiful. I think that the true story-like way in which this book is told is something really special.
The plot of this book was addictive. You find yourself asking over and over again, What? But it's such a delightful confusion. Throughout the book, Karou struggles with who she is. She thinks she is flawed, scared by the things she has done. When really, she is one of the most innocent people in the entire book. I like that about her. I don;t mean that I like that she's down on herself, but rather, she doesn't think she's perfect. Anyway, when she finds out who she really is (which I will not tell you), she becomes happier. She discovers the truth about her and her past, something that has always felt hollow inside her. I loved to see that growth in her. But before she discovers herself, the idea that she could be something bad is so ver daunting, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Overall, a fantastic book. I loved every second of it. I completely recommend it for those of you who liked The Iron Fey series.